Immunology

The UCSF Immunology Graduate Program is a component of both the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program and the Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS). Students interested in the program are admitted into the BMS program and elect to follow the Immunology Track at the end of their first year. First year BMS students pursue coursework with an emphasis on mammalian cells and tissues, including the immune system. Modern approaches for understanding the molecular mechanisms of cell, organ, and immune system function are studied as are integrative approaches toward defining the physiological in vivo importance of these mechanisms. We believe that this coursework will provide an excellent knowledge base for graduate students with a strong interest in immunology and related fields such as infectious disease. In addition, first year students do three research "rotations" in different BMS/Immunology laboratories to learn experimental approaches hands-on and to aid them in choosing a thesis laboratory and project. For students who elect the Immunology Track, the Immunology Graduate Program provides continuing advanced training in current developments of immunology and in other aspects of modern molecular and cellular biology via a weekly immunology student/faculty journal club, an annual immunology retreat, yearly advanced topics minicourses, and a weekly seminar series that hosts outstanding immunologists from around the U.S. and occasionally overseas. In addition to the above courses and activities, our connection with PIBS provides our students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty with close interactions with scientists studying cell biology, genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology, developmental biology, biophysics, and neuroscience. As these fields are highly relevant to modern study of immunology, these connections enhance the education of students in the Immunology Program.

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Participating Faculty

Jeoung-Sook Shin, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Tissue / Organ Biology & Endocrinology
Research Summary: 
We are interested in understanding the roles of dendritic cells in health and disease, and the specific mechanisms by which the roles are played.
Mentorship Development: 

11/22/19    Equity and Inclusion in the Lab (2 hours)
12/19/19    ACRA: Setting Training Expectations for Trainees on the Academic Career Track (1.5 hours)
5/26/20    Effective Strategies for IDPs for Partial Resumption of Lab Research
11/10/20    Optimizing the Efficiency of Your Lab
12/1/20    Setting Expectations with a "Welcome to the Lab' Letter (Part 1)

Anthony Shum, MD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Research Summary: 
The Shum Lab studies Mendelian disorders of autoimmunity that affect the lung using a variety of cellular, molecular and genetic approaches in animal models and in patient-derived cell lines.

Anita Sil, MD, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
Regulation of cell shape and virulence by temperature in the fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum
Mentorship Development: 

11/23/20   Building Community in the UCSF MSTP

Marina Sirota, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
The Sirota Lab aims to develop computational integrative methods to inform disease diagnostics and therapeutics. Our goal is to integrate different types of omics and clinical data to better understand the role of the immune system in disease.
Mentorship Development: 

11/10/20    Optimizing the Efficiency of Your Lab

Matthew Spitzer, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Research Summary: 
Systems approaches to understand immune responses, particularly to cancer
Mentorship Development: 

3/3/20    Promoting Student Mental Health:A Presentation and Discussion (Staff and Faculty)
11/10/20    Optimizing the Efficiency of Your Lab
12/8/20    Setting Expectations with a "Welcome to the Lab' Letter (Parts 1 and 2)

Sara Suliman, PhD, MPH

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Research Summary: 
Dissecting host mechanisms of tuberculosis (TB) pathogenesis and disease progression, defining immunological correlates of protection, and validating biomarkers and point-of-care diagnostics for TB and COVID-19

Qizhi Tang, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Tissue / Organ Biology & Endocrinology
Research Summary: 
Cellular therapies for type 1 diabetes and transplantation
Mentorship Development: 

5/2021 - Sharpening your Mentoring Skills (SyMS)

Peter Turnbaugh, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
Impact of the human gut microbiome on pharmacology and nutrition
Mentorship Development: 

4/12/19  Acknowleding and Negotiating the Mentee-Mentor Tensions Inherent in the Research Lab (Parnassus)
5/2021 Sharpening your Mentoring Skills (SyMS)

Eric Verdin, MD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
HIV Pathogenesis and lymphocyte biology

Michael Waterfield, MD, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Research Summary: 
Cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling immune tolerance

Arthur Weiss, MD, PhD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Research Summary: 
Our lab focuses on the roles of tyrosine kinases and phosphatases in regulating lymphocyte activation, and studies how abnormalities in tyrosine phosphorylation pathways can lead to immunologically-mediated diseases.

Michael Wilson, MD

Primary Thematic Area: 
Virology & Microbial Pathogenesis
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Immunology
Research Summary: 
Genomic approaches to identifying causes and understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmune and infectious neuroinflammatory conditions including encephalitis, meningitis and multiple sclerosis
Mentorship Development: 

5/2021 - Sharpening your Mentoring Skills (SyMS)

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